23-29 January #742

Dhokaima Café

A varied menu, ranging from Nepali to Italian in a laid back ambience
Someplace Else by Cynthia Choo

For a long time now Dhokaima Café has been serving diners this part of town. The cafe which is known for its laid back ambience and delicious desserts recently underwent a menu change.

Resting in the shade of a sprawling walnut tree, dining out in the scenic patio under the warm afternoon sun would be the select choice for a professional business meeting, or a nice company lunch, or a review in this case.

Though the menu offers many different cuisines ranging from Nepali to Italian and even Chinese, it was uncluttered and well-categorised, with ingredients that go into every dish clearly summarised.

However, not all the dishes were as they were described. The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Rs 219), touted on the menu to be filled with Nepali tomme cheese melting over harvest fresh tomatoes, basil and red chilli, did not have basil or red chilli inside.

Similarly, the taste of tandoori spices did not come through in the Tandoori Chicken Salad Sandwich (Rs 229), although the sandwich bread was crisp when it first arrived.

A whole sandwich dish comes with a side of fries, otherwise you could choose to have half a sandwich with a choice of soup that would cost Rs 259. The choices of soup include minestrone, cream of mushroom or hot and sour soup.

On the upside, the mains were delicious and filling, especially the Chinese main courses.

A standout dish was the Spicy Whole Fish (Rs 599), perhaps due to its sheer size. Fresh water Rahu fish, fried whole and gently stewed in a superb sauce of dried chilli, ginger, spring onion and dark soy sauce, it tasted authentically Chinese and is best shared amongst two to three.

Another appetising Chinese dish would be the Bak Choy with mushrooms (Rs 299), served with either rice or noodles. Sautéed in a light soy and garlic sauce, this vegetarian dish was tasty and refreshingly light.

The pulled pork burger (Rs 399) was also filled with flavour from a rich spice and vinegar rub. Generous and hearty, the burger was packed with succulent pork chunks.

The Hamburger (Rs 379) was similarly served with a chunky meat patty, but it was just the right size. However, don’t expect to be able to munch heartily on the burger using your bare hands – the burger bun tasted slightly stale and crumbled by the end of the meal.

If you’re looking for something easy to eat, the Chicken Shashlik (Rs 399) would be it. The bite-sized chicken was grilled to perfection and was served with a light tomato-based barbeque sauce that complimented the chicken skewers and garden vegetables.

With so many options and cuisines to choose from, one can be spoilt for choice when dining at the Dhokaima café. Thus, seal the meal with a chocolate cake and any dining experience at the Dhokaima café would do no wrong.

Desserts are truly the café’s specialty. The chocolate cake (Rs 109) consists of layers of chocolate sponge that are not overbearingly sweet, thus allowing the top layer of chocolate ganache to introduce a smooth chocolate sensation that would satisfy any palate. Regulars also swear by the Dhokaima brownie with icecream.

How to get there: Dhokaima Café is located at Patan Dhoka.

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